Targeting the intestinal lymphatic system: a versatile path for enhanced oral bioavailability of drugs

Renuka Suresh Managuli, Sushil Yadaorao Raut, Meka Sreenivasa Reddy, Srinivas Mutalik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The major challenge of first pass metabolism in oral drug delivery can be surmounted by directing delivery toward intestinal lymphatic system (ILS). ILS circumvents the liver and transports drug directly into systemic circulation via thoracic duct. Lipid and polymeric nanoparticles are transported into ILS through lacteal and Peyer’s patches. Moreover, surface modification of nanoparticles with ligand which is specific for Peyer’s patches enhances the uptake of drugs into ILS. Bioavailability enhancement by lymphatic uptake is an advantageous approach adopted by scientists today. Therefore, it is important to understand clear insight of ILS in targeted drug delivery and challenges involved in it. Areas covered: Current review includes an overview of ILS, factors governing lymphatic transport of nanoparticles and absorption mechanism of lipid and polymeric nanoparticles into ILS. Various ligands used to target Peyer’s patch and their conjugation strategies to nanoparticles are explained in detail. In vitro and in vivo models used to assess intestinal lymphatic transport of molecules are discussed further. Expert opinion: Although ILS offers a versatile pathway for nanotechnology based targeted drug delivery, extensive investigations on validation of the lymphatic transport models and on the strategies for gastric protection of targeted nanocarriers have to be perceived in for excellent performance of ILS in oral drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-804
Number of pages18
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 03-08-2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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